Application and Admission

N.B. Candidates who apply for consideration to the MD/PhD program are required to submit additional documents directly to the combined program.  Supplemental documents required:

  • Letter of interest focusing on the reasons why you wish to pursue the combined program MD/PhD and stating the area of research that interests you;
  • Two letters of reference attesting to graduate research potential (additional to the 3 letters requested by the MD program);
  • CV

Please send documents to:

University of Ottawa
Faculty of Medicine
MD/PhD Program
RGN 2135
451 Smyth Road
Ottawa ON K1H 8M5

Step by step admission process

  1. Students first apply to the MD program as described on the web at

    • At the time of application to the MD program students will have the opportunity to register their interest in the MD/PhD Program, which will prompt the initiation of the review process by the MD/PhD Program Committee.

    • Students also submit a letter of interest directly to the MD/PhD Program committee (see Contact Information) indicating their graduate program(s) and research topic(s) of interest and facilitate the submission of their CV and two letters of recommendation from previous science teachers / supervisors to the MD/PhD Program office.

  2. Initial assessment of the application by the MD program

    • The application is first assessed by the admissions committee of the MD program at the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Ottawa. Note: Students cannot be admitted to the MD/PhD Program if they have not been first admitted to the MD Program.

  3. Assessment of the application by the graduate program

    • Graduate program representatives of the MD/PhD Program Committee review only applications to the combined program that have been selected and invited for an interview by the MD Program Admission’s Committee at the University of Ottawa.

    • The Directors of the graduate programs assess the admissibility of the student to the PhD program of choice by examining the educational background of the students as per the specific requirements of the program.

    • A committee formed by the directors of the graduate programs review applicant files from the MD admission committee. The files are reviewed for their admissibility to the graduate programs and ranked by research experience and potential.

    • The MD/PhD program applicants are interviewed along with other MD applicants. A representative of the MD/PhD committee will participate in all interviews of applicants to the combined program.
  4. Final admission process

    • Following the completion of interviews, the MD/PhD Program Committee members rank the candidates and submit the list to the Faculty of Medicine’s office for the Dean of Admissions. The MD program is responsible for sending the offer of admission to the combined MD/PhD Program to each student candidates.

    • The MD/PhD Program Committee assists the admitted students in finding a supervisor appropriate to their research interests. The graduate program and supervisor must be identified during Year 1 to facilitate selection of the appropriate graduate course(s).

    • The qualifications of the students admitted to the program will fall into three categories:

      1. students with a BSc Honours;
      2. students with a MSc degree; and
      3. students currently in a MSc program.

      The MD/PhD Program committee, in consultation with the PhD supervisor, will determine the required course work of each student depending on his/her background upon admission or soon thereafter.

    • Students who are already registered in a graduate degree program have to seek consent from their supervisor before applying to the MD/PhD Program. Students who have completed the PhD requirements at the end of Year 4 of the combined program cannot expect to be automatically allowed to return to the MD program in Year 5 rather than Year 6. (Explanation: The required 3-year period of the core graduate program in our MD/PhD Program is linked to the forecasting needs by Faculty of Medicine for all enrolled medical students at the University of Ottawa and their clerkship rotations during their last two years of undergraduate medical education).

  5. Admission Requirements for the PhD Portion of MD/PhD Program

    For the PhD programs in Biochemistry, Biology, Cellular and Molecular Medicine, Human and Molecular Genetics, Microbiology and Immunology and Neuroscience:

    1. BSc Honours degree in one of the following disciplines (Note, the BSc Honour’smust  include a research project course in a laboratory):
      • Biology
      • Biochemistry
      • Biopharmaceutical
      • Health Science
      • Human Kinetics
      • Microbiology
      • Neuroscience
      • Pharmacology
      • Physiology
    2. Minimum course grade point average: A-

    BSc Honours degree in a field related to population health (for example, epidemiology, human kinetics, audiology, physiotherapy, nursing, law, environmental studies, sociology, psychology, biology):

    1. BSc Honours degree of minimum A- or equivalent average. Applicants must demonstrate the ability to undertake an independent research project.

    2. Several key areas of knowledge are required of applicants: health sciences, social or behavioural sciences, advanced research methods, graduate level statistics and epidemiology. Additional graduate courses may be required. To be determined by the Program Director.

Note: the MD/PhD Planning Committee and – if already assembled - the Thesis Advisory Committee will reserve the right to add courses to the list of requirements if the background of the student is deemed insufficient for entering the chosen PhD program.

© University of Ottawa
For additional information, consult our list of contacts
Technical questions?
Last updated: 2016.04.08